La Guajira is an incredibly unique and diverse Caribbean department in Colombia. It forms a peninsula on the northern Atlantic Coast of Colombia and is full of some amazing things to do and see. Today, we want to tell you about some of our favourite places to visit and things to do in la Guajira should you want to travel there some time in the future.
One of the first places you enter in La Guajira, when arriving there via bus or car, is a small town called Palomino. Palomino is a very small coastal town located at the base of the Sierra Nevada coastal mountain range. Palomino is full of beautiful, rugged beaches to explore and also offers you the chance to explore some Kogi indigenous villages, hike through the Sierra Nevada or float down the San Juan river until it reaches the ocean.
About an hour north of Palomino is another small town you shouldn’t miss during your time in La Guajira called Camarones, which means “shrimp” in Spanish. This small town is a protected area due to the wildlife it harbours, and if you arrive early in the morning, you can see flocks of flamingos chomping down on the shrimp in the nearby lake as you take a canoe tour across the lake with a local guide. If you like shrimp, make sure you eat some here!
If you want to hit the biggest city in the La Guajira, head to the capital city of Riohacha. Riohacha recently had a very lovely renovation in the beach area of the city along what is called La Primera. Here, you can browse an extensive collection of local and traditional Wayuu mochilas as well as other local handicrafts being sold most commonly by their creators. You want won’t to leave La Guajira without at least one mochila, even if it is a gift for someone else.
About 20 minutes north of Riohacha is another small beach town called Mayapo. Mayapo has white sand, turquoise-crystal water, and nice lunch spots where you can get excellent local seafood. If you’re looking for a good beach close to Riohacha, this is the place!
About 2 hours further north in La Guajira, you will come to a town called Manaure. Manaure is famous for its salt flats and salt production. Here, you can tour a salt production plant as well as see the salt drying out in the salt flats. You can also swim in some of the saltiest water in Colombia—in fact, the water is almost white due to the high salt concentration.
The prize gems of La Guajira, though, are probably those places located even further north: Cabo de la Vela and Punta Gallinas. They are two towns located nearly at the end of the South American continent, at its most northern point. Both towns offer you once in a lifetime views and experiences. You can observe local indigenous culture, try regional specialities such as fried goat and lobster, and observe some of the most spectacular natural landscapes and beaches in all of Colombia.
The Uncover Colombia Team.